Facts about hiccups in COVID-19 and how to deal with them

The symptoms of COVID-19 are increasingly varied and recently another symptom experienced by sufferers was found, namely hiccups. Although it looks mild and common, this condition should not be taken lightly, especially if it lasts for days.

Hiccups occur when the diaphragm muscle contracts involuntarily and is accompanied by closure of the vocal cords, producing a characteristic sound. This condition can be caused by various things, such as eating too fast or consuming soft drinks.

However, in some cases, hiccups can be a symptom of certain medical conditions and one of them is COVID-19.

Facts about hiccups as a symptom of COVID-19

There are several symptoms that are generally experienced by people with COVID-19, ranging from mild to severe symptoms. Symptoms can include fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle aches, and diarrhea. These various symptoms generally appear 2-14 days after exposure to the Corona virus.

However, there are also other symptoms experienced by people with COVID-19, namely hiccups. Hiccups in COVID-19 usually last for more than 2 days and need to get immediate treatment by a doctor. Sometimes hiccups are accompanied by fever and sore throat.

Hiccups that occur continuously can be triggered by damage or irritation of the diaphragm muscle nerve. There are several factors that can cause these nerves to be damaged or irritated, namely:

  • The presence of a foreign object that enters and touches the eardrum
  • Goiter, tumor, or cyst in the neck
  • Acid reflux disease or GERD
  • Sore throat or laryngitis

In addition, hiccups can also occur due to problems with the central nervous system, such as stroke, metabolic disorders such as electrolyte disturbances, or the use of certain drugs, such as steroids.

However, hiccups are not a typical symptom of COVID-19, so it is necessary to carry out a more in-depth examination through laboratory tests or imaging tests, such as chest X-rays.

However, this link between persistent hiccups and COVID-19 symptoms still requires further research.

How to Overcome Hiccups as a Symptoms of COVID-19

Most cases of hiccups go away on their own without requiring medical attention. However, there are some easy ways to relieve your hiccups, including:

  • Breathe in a paper bag
  • Gargle with ice water
  • Hold your breath for a few seconds
  • Drinking cold water
  • Limit consumption of carbonated drinks and gas-producing foods

If some of the methods above are not able to overcome the hiccups you are experiencing or even the hiccups last for more than 2 days, immediately consult a doctor to get the right treatment.

To treat mild hiccups, the doctor will give you drugs, such as: baclofen, chlorpromazine, and metoclopramide. However, if these drugs are not effective in treating this condition, injections are given bupivacaine will be given to block the nerves that are causing the hiccups.

For hiccups that persist and can't be treated with the two types of treatment above, the doctor will recommend implant surgery that uses electrical stimulation to stop the hiccups.

Although hiccups as a symptom of COVID-19 are not yet common and seem mild, you still have to be vigilant and see a doctor, especially if your hiccups are accompanied by other COVID-19 symptoms.

To protect yourself from exposure to the Corona virus, don't forget to always apply health protocols, both inside and outside the house. In addition, you are also advised to live a healthy lifestyle by exercising regularly, eating a balanced nutritious diet, and getting enough rest time.